Not all HEPA filters are alike. You might have come across expressions like ‘True HEPA’, ‘HEPA-like’, ‘H13 HEPA’, and ‘Medical-Grade HEPA’. Are all these the same kind of filter, or are there differences between them?
Here’s the key part you need to know when picking the best medical-grade air purifiers:
Medical-Grade Filters = H13 HEPA Filters
Before we check out a list of the best 5 H13 HEPA medical-grade air purifiers, we just need to clear up what HEPA actually means. (You can also scroll down to the list with comparison table and reviews right away)
Here’s a quick insight: H13 HEPA medical-grade filters are the most thorough small-particle filters that are used in medical-grade air purifiers.
The HEPA filter is the most basic filtration system for all the best HEPA air purifiers use. HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. Here is how the DOE defines HEPA filter:
“(HEPA filters) remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3 micrometers (μm) in diameter. The filter’s minimal resistance to airflow, or pressure drop, is usually specified around 300 pascals (0.044 psi) at its nominal volumetric flow rate.” (DOE)
In short, HEPA filters capture small particles like dust, pollen, mold, smoke, pet dander, and so on very well.
Now we know what HEPA is. Let’s answer this:
What Is The Difference Between HEPA, True HEPA, H13 HEPA, And Medical-Grade HEPA Filters?
“True HEPA is better than HEPA filter.”
True HEPA vs HEPA
That’s not true at all. ‘True HEPA’ is just a marketing term companies producing HEPA filters have come up with. There is absolutely no difference between an air purifier with True HEPA vs HEPA filters; it’s just that True HEPA was tested to sound better in consumers’ ears.
What you really need to care about when buying HEPA air purifiers are terms like ‘HEPA-like’ and ‘HEPA-style’. Those are basically wannabe HEPA filters. They don’t satisfy HEPA standards; they do not capture more than 99.97% particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter.
What Is H13 HEPA And Medical-Grade HEPA?
There are different classes of HEPA filters, according to EN 779 normalization standard. Classic HEPA filters are usually H10, H11, or H12 class. The best HEPA air purifiers will use H12 HEPA filters.
However, H13 is even better than normal HEPA filters. Specifically, the H13 filter captures particles that are more than 3x smaller than classic HEPA filters. Here’s the H13 HEPA standard:
“H13 HEPA filters remove at least 99.9% of airborne particles 0.1 micrometers (μm) in diameter.”
H13 HEPA, compared to HEPA or True HEPA, removes even the smallest particles True HEPA is unable to capture. Here include asbestos particles, paint pigments, insecticides, and so on, as seen on the True HEPA vs H13 HEPA comparison here:
H13 HEPA filters are so thorough they are used in clinics, hospitals, and dental offices. Here’s the last question:
What’s the difference between the H13 HEPA filters and Medical-Grade HEPA filters?
There is none. H13 HEPA filters are simply so thorough they are used in medical settings; hence the name ‘Medical-Grade’.
Here’s the bottom line:
If you’re looking to buy a HEPA air purifier, you’re looking for high-efficiency air purification. The best commercially available HEPA filters are the H13 HEPA filters. Hence, the best medical-grade HEPA air purifiers are the ones with H13 HEPA filters.
LearnMetrics recommends 5 top-rated H13 HEPA medical-grade air purifiers. After the list, you will find the H13 HEPA air purifier comparison table, an explanation of the filtration system, as well as reviews of each of the H13 HEPA filter air purifiers. Here’s the list:
- Medify MA-112 (Best Medical-Grade H13 HEPA Air Purifier With 500 CADR rating; 1,000 Sq Ft Coverage)
- Alen BreatheSmart 45i (Quietest H13 HEPA Air Purifier Perfect For Bedroom)
- Medify MA-40 (Specialized Medical-Grade HEPA Air Purifier)
- Okaysou AirMax8L (Cheapest H13 HEPA Air Purifier That’s Actually Great)
- Levoit LV-H135 (High-Performance H13 HEPA Air Cleaner With High CADR rating)
Comparison Of Best H13 HEPA Air Purifiers In 2023
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1. Medify MA-112 (Best H13 HEPA Medical-Grade Air Purifier With 500 CADR Rating, 1,000 Sq Ft Coverage)
|Coverage Area:||1,000 sq ft (5 ACH)|
|Filters:||3-stage with H13 Medical-Grade HEPA|
|Noise Levels:||Below 70 dB|
|Dimensions:||9 x 16.5 x 27 inches|
Medify MA-112 by far is the best H13 HEPA air purifier with a medical-grade filtration system. If you reverse-engineer the Medify MA-112, you can see precisely what makes it so great.
The key part is the medical-grade filter that can capture more than 99% of particles that are as small as 0.1 microns. Nasty allergy-causing air pollutants such as pollen, dust mites, dust particles, bacteria, smoke, viruses. All 5 top-rated H13 HEPA air purifiers have very similar H13 HEPA filters. However, only Medify uses the best 3 filtration layers medical-grade filter.
Medify MA-112 excels at the overall specifications across the board:
- It has a 1,000 sq ft coverage (at 5 air changes per hour; recommended for allergy-prone people). This makes it’s best and biggest whole house H13 HEPA air purifiers. For reference: Other HEPA air purifiers have 300-400 sq ft coverage.
- It has a tremendous 500 CADR rating. This is the most important specs; it tells how thoroughly the air purifier removes small air pollutants. No other H13 HEPA unit even comes close; most have a 200-380 CADR rating.
Medify always uses premium quality HEPA filters. Where Medify MA-112 is how these precious filters are protected. For that, it uses a thorough prefilter. The pre-filter is designed specifically to capture large particles like pet dander (which would otherwise overwhelm the H13 HEPA filter). This enables these medical-grade HEPA filters to effectively remove even the smallest particulates.
In addition to the pre-filter and the all-important medical-grade H13 HEPA filter, the Medify MA-112 has an activated carbon filter. An activated carbon filter makes adsorption of odors and other gases such as VOCs (formaldehyde and benzene) easier.
In short, the Medify MA-112 has it all. Exceptional medical-grade H13 HEPA filtration system that can achieve a full CADR rating of 500 (with 1,000 sq ft coverage). It’s the perfect H13 HEPA air purifier available for a reasonable price:
2. Alen BreatheSmart 45i Review (Quietest H13 HEPA Air Purifier For Bedroom)
|Coverage Area:||320 sq ft (5 ACH)|
|Filters:||H13 True HEPA Filters (3 Options)|
|Noise Levels:||23-49 dB|
|Dimensions:||8.5 x 15 x 25 inches|
Alen BreatheSmart is an Alen air purifier series, designed specifically to increase the quality of sleep. Waking up more refreshed and falling asleep easier kind of way, via increased bedroom air quality, of course. If you check the Alen BeatheSmart reviews, you can see that the 45i model is the best one.
Alen BreatheSmart 45i has the option to pick any of the 3 kinds of H13 medical-grade HEPA filters. The most basic version – the ones most people actually pick – is designed to remove dust, mold, and pet odors. The H13 HEPA filter will remove more than 99% of all air particles that come through Alen BreatheSmart 45i and are as small as 0.1-microns.
2nd option of the H13 HEPA filter has an additional ‘Light Smoke’ filter. It’s a 0.66 activated carbon filter. 3rd option comes with the ‘Heavy Smoke’ activated carbon filter that weighs 2+ lbs. This is the most powerful one, designed to remove all undesirable odors.
Here are the two superb Alen BreatheSmart 45i specifications:
- Max. noise level is only 45 dB. That makes this unit the quietest H13 HEPA air purifier.
- Low power consumption, from 1.1 to 50 Watts. It also has an Energy Star rating.
All in all, the Alen BreatheSmart 45i is a quiet, energy-efficient air purifier with 3 H13 HEPA filter options. If you’re not concerned about odors, the standard ‘Dust, Mold, Pet Odors’ is actually the best option.
3. Medify MA-40 Review (Specialized Medical-Grade HEPA Air Purifier)
|Coverage Area:||336 sq ft (5 ACH)|
|Filters:||High-Grade H13 HEPA|
|Noise Levels:||46-66 dB|
|Dimensions:||10.5 x 11 x 26 inches|
If you’ve checked the Medify air purifier reviews, you know that the H13 HEPA filter is central for all Medify units. Medify MA-40 is the most popular model; simply because it has great specs and is designed for larger spaces.
Both CADR rating, as well as 5 air changes per hour room size, are 300+. Medify MA-40 has a 330 CADR rating and 320 sq ft room size if we use 5 ACH calculations.
Medify is one of the few air purifier brands that uses H13 HEPA filters in all of their models. They are specialized in this medical-grade filtration system. This makes them quite reliable.
For example, Medify MA-40 H13 HEPA filters only need to be replaced after 2500 running hours. If you run this unit for 8 hours per day, you will need to replace the H13 HEPA filters about once a year.
It’s also the first H13 HEPA purifier that doesn’t cost $400 or more. It does have quite high noise levels, however.
4. Okaysou AirMax8L Review (Cheapest H13 HEPA Air Purifier That’s Actually Great)
|Coverage Area:||320 sq ft (5 ACH)|
|Filters:||Medical Grade H13 Ultra-Duo HEPA (4 Options)|
|Noise Levels:||22-51 dB|
|Dimensions:||12.9 x 7.1 x 19.4 inches|
Okaysou is a lesser-known brand; they are known for creating budget-friendly high-performance air purifiers. Here’s the kicker: to get that performance, they use H13 HEPA filters. The best and the most popular model is the Okaysou AirMax8L.
Okaysou has developed a unique Ultra-Duo purification system with HEPASilent technology. That tech is the very reason why Okaysou AirMax8L is so quiet, even at the highest fan speed setting. Most H13 HEPA air purifiers that suffer from air pressure drops will have, as a result, higher noise rates (above 60 dB).
Okaysou AirMax8L has a noise rate of 51 dB. That is almost as low as the Alen BreatheSmart 45i H13 HEPA air purifier.
But the great H13 medical-grade filtration system and low noise rates aren’t the best things about this unit:
It’s the price.
Okaysou is a newer brand and has to compete in a very competitive air purifier market. They decided to compete with low prices. The result is that the Okaysou AirMax8L – an H13 HEPA filter air purifier – costs less than $150.
That’s an insane price for a 210 CADR and 320 sq ft coverage area air purifier. Here the review with the link to Okaysou’s own website:
5. Levoit LV-H135 Review (Top-Rated High CADR Air Purifier With H13 Filters)
|Coverage Area:||318 sq ft (5 ACH)|
|Filters:||High-Grade H13 HEPA|
|Noise Levels:||26-54 dB|
|Dimensions:||24.6 x 13.6 x 13.4 inches|
Levoit is a well-known air purifier brand in the US. The best Levoit air purifier is the Levoit LV-H135; which happens to have an H13 HEPA filter.
That’s right; the Levoit LV-H135 model comes with the medical-grade HEPA filter that can capture more than 99% of the smallest air pollutants that are tiny – down to 0.1 microns in size.
The key specification that sticks out is the most important one: the CADR rating. Levoit LV-H135 has an amazingly high 360 CADR rating.
Levoit LV-H135 is quite a silent device with maximal noise levels of 54 dB. However, LM misses the Energy Star rating that all top 3 H13 HEPA filter air purifiers have.
The filtration system is also a very basic 3-stage one. Yes, it has a medical-grade H13 HEPA filter in the center, but that’s pretty much it.
All in all, a decent H13 HEPA air purifier for an affordable price but it’s quite far from being the best medical-grade air purifier.
All in all, you can see that the upgraded H13 HEPA air purifiers are more difficult to build-in in an air purifier. Nevertheless, the increased air purification as a result of the smaller H13 HEPA pores is well worth the engineering sweat and a slightly higher price for consumers.
To check the very best air purifier, you can check out the complete list here.